John Cena versus The Undertaker. It’s a match that many WWE fans do not want to see though it’s not quite as criticized as others that came before it. Roman Reigns versus Triple H from WrestleMania 32 and Cena versus Reigns at No Mercy in 2017 are both prime examples of highly unwanted matches.
But Cena versus Taker could eventually be just as dreaded. However that will not stop if from happening.
Nothing has been made official yet, as WWE is just on the eve of The Royal Rumble. That event sets the pace for Mania and this year should be no different. Of course when it comes to The Deadman, WWE does tend to wait until the zero hour to set the wheels in motion.
Part of that is likely due to Undertaker himself, who is content to just sit back and let the fans debate before he finally makes his presence known. Or maybe the company just loves to keep the audience guessing, forever debating if this is Taker’s last match.
But didn’t that last match happen at WrestleMania 33?
The Undertaker lost to the right guy at the right time. Fans may not see it that way but in terms of WWE’s ongoing narrative, there was just no better match for the moment. Sting versus Taker was not in the cards for WrestleMania 33; that should have happened at WrestleMania 31. Finn Balor’s Demon King persona would have been a great fit for The Deadman but that wasn’t to be either.
So if the most legendary performer in WWE history was going to work his last match and ride off into the sunset, what better way to do it than go out on his back? Taker lost to the top guy in the company, which is what a professional would have done. Undertaker gave back to the business and left on his terms.
When he left his gear in the middle of the ring, fans knew it was over. It was something he had never done before. When he acknowledged his wife at ringside, it was the last nail in the coffin for The Deadman.
But if he’s truly not done and wants to keep going, then his potential list of opponents is even shorter than it was before he lost to Reigns. If he keeps beating New Era talents, then fans will cry foul and that’s to be expected. Why get over on younger Superstars when his task is to hand the company off to them? Is that what fans want?
Or would the WWE faithful rather see Undertaker do the right thing and leave with dignity?
Shouldn’t he leave the way he wants to, not because he can’t walk anymore? Why keep going?
The fact is that Taker is a professional. He always has been. He knows that it’s a younger man’s game, just as he knew it when he first came to WWE. Seasoned veterans are needed to groom the next generation of stars to eventually take the reins but he’s past that now. Taker is only coming back to tell his story and because he loves the business.
So with that being the case, why not face Cena at WrestleMania 34?
The easy answer is because if Cena versus Taker happens at Mania, then Cena will likely win. Cena may not be the top guy anymore but why would Undertaker go over now, as it’s been made very clear that he’s practically done? His undefeated streak was ended by Brock Lesnar, he passed the torch to Reigns on the WrestleMania stage and he’s got nothing left to prove. There’s just no reason for him to get a win now.
But maybe that’s why he should win against Cena at WrestleMania 34.
Cena is also a pro and he’s always had the best interest of WWE at heart. He’s taken his role very seriously since he came to the main roster and he’s spent his entire career paying respect to the business. With that being the case, there’s every reason to believe that Cena will do the honors at Mania.
Taker did lose to Lesnar. He did lose to Reigns. He did what he wanted to do and he did it his way. He’s a company guy and he always has been. But now that he’s got nothing left to lose, the pressure is off. So a match with Cena would be nothing more than just a way to finally say farewell and do it with his arm raised at the end. Undertaker deserves to win this match and Cena should be the man to put him over.
Neither man has anything else to do and Cena can’t spend the rest of whatever is left of his career putting younger talent over. Chris Jericho makes a guy every time he steps through the ropes now but he’s not the protected face of WWE. Jericho is his own man and does what he wants to do; Cena is not in that category, at least not right now.
Cena came into WWE at the beginning of the Ruthless Aggression Era in 2002 and received an endorsement from The Deadman himself on TV. From that moment, their careers became intertwined in a way that no one even realized. It wasn’t about having a blood feud or becoming each man’s most hated rival. It was about setting the tone for what would come nearly 16 years later.
It could be that Cena knew all along that fate would eventually lead him back to The Undertaker. Maybe that is the hook for this match.
Every possible storyline has perhaps played out for Cena and Undertaker individually. In a world where an angle can come from one tweet or one short promo, it’s hard to imagine that either man has anything big left in terms of fresh content. The Phenom has done it all. The same is true of Cena. It may not be the most anticipated match in WWE history, but it is one that must happen.